How do you plan for a safe, fun, memorable, and incident-free vacation? By balancing between your trip advisor and State Department website searches. While the Trip advisor tells you about the most visited places, where to sleep, hang out and dine, the state department lets you in on secrets about keeping safe while roaming around. You need to research all the possible emergency cases and worst-case scenarios associated with your upcoming trip and take precautions on how to handle them.
Any travel security expert will tell you that the safety of your travel ultimately lies in what you do before you board that plane. We have nonetheless broken down the travel safety guidelines to these five tips that you must take into account before your next travel:
- Understand your health thoroughly and plan for possible emergencies
Changes in climatic conditions, and even trying out different foods can trigger health emergencies like allergies you never knew you had or your underlying health issues. If you are on medication or have any health safety concerns, carry your pills, and identify hospitals near your residence.
Subscribe to travel insurance with a health cover and also memorize contact details of emergency medical service providers like the ambulance as well as your embassy/consulate. You also need to learn how to ask for help. Before leaving, learn the local dialect such phrases as ‘Please Help” or “Call This Number For Me.”
- Understand the roads and transport and beware of surroundings at all times
Plan each outing and trip beforehand. Double-check your uber, screenshot their uber driver’s profile and save it on the cloud or WhatsApp it to a friend. Memorize the cab number and turn on your phone GPS. Kidnappers and extortionists are known to hang out entertainment joints all over the world pretending to be cab drivers. Double-checking these details can be a lifesaver.
- Don’t attract attention to yourself
What is the outright definition of a tourist? A foreigner rocking beachwear, a camera hanging from their neck, and foldable paper maps at hand, and probably a backpack. These tourist stereotypes make you stand out like a sore thumb and attract unnecessarily and, at times, unhealthy attention your way.
Avoid them and try to blend in as much as you can. Want to tour a place? Ask for tour recommendations from your hotel manager or consult Google. Stranded and need help? Fake it. Avoid looking desperate. You can trust someone and ask for help, but don’t let your guard down.
- Leave your valuables at home
Avoid bringing along your expensive jewelry like diamond rings or electronics like your latest Mac or iPhone. And if you must, take out travel insurance that covers these valuables. You will also want to invest in a highly secure backpack and choose a hotel with a safe.
When traveling, keep them in the compartment below and not on the back seat or trunk cab. In a crowded place? Wear your backpack in the front. Buy a dummy wallet, bra pockets, and clothes with hidden pockets while keeping cash separate from cards.
- Understand the political social and economic status of the host country
The last thing you need is being caught up in a political uprising, unabated inflation, or a health crisis abroad. These don’t just compromise your travel plans but also make traveling hard and quite expensive. You also need to understand the social norms relating to overindulgence.
In some countries, drunkenness makes you an easy target and easy to be taken advantage of, and in others, it will get you arrested. Photographing profited buildings like government establishments can also land you in trouble while other countries have strict dressing codes, especially for women. Research on all these before you leave your hotel room.
Research, research, research. Try to get as much information about your host country as possible. Further, understand your health and that anyone else traveling with you and make proper arrangements, be it bringing medication or booking accommodation near hospitals. Turn on your GPS, memorize contact details for your embassy/consulate and learn how to ask for help in the local dialect.